Page images


produced a great sensation by one of his bold movements, and gained great applause for his ingenuity.

There is no season which, rightly imAccording to the customs of that age proved, is not capable of affording delight; and country, the nobles, after the usual each having its appropriate phenomena, ceremonies of the evening were over, sat and its natural influence over the spirits. down to a free and promiscuous conver- In spring, the heart responds to the sation. Christianity was then the great new-born beauty, the lightsome gladness, topic. The church was always ridiculed, the exhilarating and ever-varying aspect and the Bible was treated with unsparing of that joyous season. As yet the tremseverity.

bling year is unconfirmed, and winter's Growing warmer and warmer in their chilliness often returns after the sun has sarcastic remarks, one great lord com- set, reminding us of the changefulness manded, for a moment, universal atten- and uncertainty of even the brightest tion, by asserting in a round voice, that scenes below the skies. The clouds of the Bible was not only a piece of arrant sorrow and the storms of adversity may deception, but totally devoid of literary obscure our prospects, or destroy our merit. Although the entire party of bliss; and it is only the Christian, who, Frenchmen nodded a hearty assent to amid the desolation of his hopes, is yet the sentence, Franklin gave no signs of able "to rejoice in the Lord, and to joy approval. Being at that time a court in the God of his salvation.' favourite, his companions could not bear Ere long, however, in obedience to a tacit reproof from a man of his weight those unerring laws by which the seasons of influence. They all appealed to him succeed one another in their appointed for his opinion. Franklin, in one of his order, the soft and tepid breezes loosen peculiar ways, replied, that he was hardly the clods of the valleys, and the husbandprepared to give them a suitable answer, man joyously prepares the soil for the as his mind had been running on the reception of the precious grain, which he merits of a new book of rare excellency, scatters far and wide in liberal profusion, which he had just happened to fall in singing as he goes, with his eye fixed in with at one of the book-stores; and as hopeful anticipation, as though already they had pleased to make allusion to the waved before him the golden ears, bendliterary character of the Bible, perhaps it ing with the weight of an abundant might interest them to compare with that harvest. old volume the merits of his new prize. Nor is this the only beauty of the If so, he would read them a short section. season of spring; vegetation feels its All were eager to hear the doctor read penetrating and revivifying influences ; them a portion of his rare book. In a the sun, as if awaking from a profound very grave and sincere manner he took sleep, shines forth with increased strength, an old book from his coat-pocket, and and piercing with his beams recesses with a propriety of utterance read to dark and deep, where, leafless and for

lorn, have stood, for months, trees, plants, The

poem had its effect. The admiring and shrubs, he exerts his genial power listeners pronounced it the best they had below the earth, which quickly brings to ever heard or read. “ That is pretty,” said its surface those exhalations which tend

“That is sublimity," said another. again to cover its surface with a robe of “It has not its superior in the world,” | living green; and we behold the face of was the unanimous opinion. · They all nature, arrayed in all its fresh features of wished to know the name of the work, grace and loveliness, with feelings of inand whether that was a specimen of its creased admiration for temporary gloomicontents.

ness and sterility. Certainly, gentlemen," said the doc- Thus summer is introduced, rich in tor, smiling at his triumph, “my book is the perfected beauties and productions of full of such passages. It is no other spring. Oh, how the grateful heart luxuthan your good-for-nothing Bible, and I riates amidst the thousand treasures which have read you the prayer of the prophet have been poured into her lap! especially Habakkuk,”

when we realise the fact of their coming Let every reader learn wisdom from from Him who, with the munificence of a this incident, and especially to appreciate God, giveth us all things richly to enjoy ; the unequalled sublimities of the Bible. of which, if we are Christians, our relish

them a poem,


will be tenfold, since, in those gists, we

“ Beneath His smile my heart has lived, shall not only recognise the gracious

And part of heaven possess'd;

I'll praise His name for grace received, Giver, but use them with the full sense

And trust him for the rest." of their having been provided for our benefit and delight :

Many more are the interesting occu

pations which grace this busy period; “ His are the mountains, and the valleys his,

some of which we should like to bring And the resplendent rivers. His to enjoy

before the reader did space permit; but With a propriety that none can feel,

we must content ourselves by closing our But who, with filial confidence inspired, Can lift to heaven an unpresumptuous eye,

remarks on summer by those beautiful And smiling say, 'My Father made them all!'” lines which follow the poet's admiration

of the orb of day-the sun of nature's In this season of universal perfection system—the delegated source “of light, and abundance, the eye, the ear, and the and life, and grace, and joy below :" heart are full of delight; everything ap

“ How shall I then attempt to sing of Him pears not only possessed of life, but as

Who, Light himself, in uncreated light having it “more abundantly." The

Invested deep, dwells awfully retired flowers with their million dyes; the From mortal eye, or angel's purer ken ? hedge-rows crowded with delicate wild

Whose single smile has, from the first of time,

Fill'd overflowing all those lamps of heaven, flowers; the trees, with their umbrageous That beam for ever through the boundless sky: foliage; the insect and reptile tribes

But, should he hide his face, the astonish'd sun

And all the extinguish'd stars would loos'ning rushing into life, as it were, with impa- reel tient haste to flutter on the wing, or to

Wide from their spheres, and chaos come again." creep upon the warm and dusty earth; —these everywhere abound; where'er

If thus his works declare his wisdom, we tread we cannot turn from them;

power, and love; if all nature be vocal they go before us; they follow us o'er

in his praise, how much more should man, land, o'er stream, o'er mountains, hills,

whose enjoyment they were designed to or valleys; all nature teems with life, and

promote, proclaim the love and goodness light, and happiness; and the labour,

of the great Creator! How beautiful is which now occupies so many in the fields,

the order in which the seasons occur! serves but to lend enchantment to the one gradually introducing another; the scenery by which we are everywhere

adaptation, too, visible in the construction surrounded!

of every living thing, and the provision Among these engagements of the sum

made for their necessities, all proclaim mer season, there is one that strikes the

the wisdom and the mercy of a God! mind of a stranger, or the merely super

From the minutest substance that has life, ficial observer, with something of cruelty

to his most perfect creature man, is alike -we refer to sheep-shearing, a descrip

discernible the hand of the omnipotent tion of which has been so graphically

One. Who is not particularly struck by the given by the author of " The Seasons :"

gradual approach of autumn ? The bright Howers of the months of summer are fol

lowed by those of more sombre hues; the “Fear not, ye gentle tribes, 't is not the knife Of horrid slaughter that is o'er you waved;

luxuriant green of the forest-trees, which No, 't is the tender swain's well.guided shears, have afforded a graceful shade to the eye, Who, having now to pay his annual care, and a cool retreat from the piercing rays Borrow'd your fleece, to you a cumbrous load, Will send you bounding to your hills again.” of a vertical sun, now assume a robe of

variegated colours ; and the flowers, so Such a picture, to the reflective mind, late of gay and dazzling brightness, give may serve well to remind us of the kind- place to those of richer, but less brilliant ness and mercy which there often is in hues, which, however, better harmonise that discipline exercised by the Almighty with the general aspect of the season, upon his children, who, ignorant of his and, from their novelty, yield as much intentions towards them, mourn over delight and satisfaction as those of the their sufferings, and desire, sometimes by-gone season. impatiently, their removal; and not, until Besides such changes, what, to him released, do they discover it was for their who contemplates, who sees God in all ultimate comfort and welfare these pains around, and within him, must be his were inflicted. Happy they who at such feelings, as he views, waving before him, times can say, "Though he slay me, yet the golden harvest, which speaks of will I trust in him :"

plenty for man and beast! Does not the

[blocks in formation]

heart of such an one exult, ay, overflow remove them—the wheat for the barn, and with exuberant gratitude towards Him the chaff for the burning. It behoves us, who openeth his hand, and satisfieth therefore, to “ watch and be sober,” since the desire of every living thing. Nor, “.

we know neither the day nor the hour indeed, will he stop here ; he will realise wherein the Son of man cometh.” the faithfulness of God in his promise, Autumn, also, reminds us of another that seed-time and harvest, summer and season-winter, of which it is the herald. winter, day and night, should never fail. Happy indeed are they, who, having His thoughts will be also carried forward duly regarded those that have preceded, to a remoter period, of which these scenes are especially mindful of this—so full of are only symbols--the end of the world, images calculated to bring to our mind when the angels shall be commanded to our latter end, from its resemblance to put in the sickle, for the harvest is our mortal pilgrimage, of which, indeed, ripe.

This fact is almost forced into unitedly, the divisions of the year furnish view amid the occupations of this in- a striking symbol. teresting season; we are inevitably led The winter of life will, however, have on to the great concluding and most passed away ere we shall be in the enjoymomentous event that befalls mankind- ment of an endless spring. Let us, then, the fact of our dissolution. This, when- seeing that this event will as surely befall ever it occurs, is the end of time to the us as does summer succeed spring, and individual-time in this world. But winter autumn, not heedlessly disregard time is but a link in the chain of eternity, its approach, for and the only link which is dissolvable

“ All men think all men mortal but themselves." death cuts asunder-that portion which unites us to earth; the remainder runs “There is a peculiar inveteracy of out into eternity, and, in reality, is eter- thoughtlessness in reference to death, benity. Death, therefore, is a serious yond any other of the futurities of our thing when viewed in reference to eter- earthly existence.” The reasons of this nity, on account of the certainty of its comparative indifference have, we think, arrival, the import of the message of considerable weight in the following rewhich it may be the bearer, and the flections:—“Death is the stepping-stone endless duration of which it is the pre- between the two worlds; and so it some

Whatever be the destiny of the what combines the palpable of matter nations, we know this, that to old or with the shadowy and the evanescent of young, rich or poor, it is appointed unto spirit. It is the gateway to a land of all men once to die, and after that the mystery and of silence, and seems to judgment. If we were to keep closely gather upon it something of the visionary before our minds all the features of har- character which the things of faith have vest time, we might ask, “When are to the eye of the senses.

It is not a people ripe for their removal hence?” thing unseen; but being an outlet to the It is certain that sin ripens the trans- region of invisibles, there settles upon it gressor for eternal woe; but when he is a degree of that faintness and obscurity ripe it is not easy to decide. The most. wherewith the carnal eye regards all that grossly and openly vicious are not always is told of the matters of eternity. And the most guilty before God. We see a so, amid all the varieties of temperament profligate wretch, and deem him ripe for in our species, there is a universal heedruin, and wonder he is not cut down ; lessness of death. It seems against the when, perhaps, though not immoral, we tendency of nature to think of it. There ourselves are much more criminal in the is an opposite bias that ever inclines us sight of Him who judgeth righteously. away from this dark contemplation He, perhaps, never had our advantages, towards the warm and living realities of and was pressed by severer temptations the peopled world around us. The mind than we ever knew. If asked, therefore, refuses to dwell on that dreary abode of when a man is ripe for destruction, we skulls and of sepulchres, and makes it acknowledge we cannot determine. But willing to escape from all the hideous it must be wise to beware, and to keep from imagery, to society, and to business, and every approximation to such a dreadful to the whole interest and variety of life. state. However, the Lord knoweth them Instead of some mighty impulse being that are his, and them that are not his; required to dispossess us of the thought, and he chooses the most proper time to it costs us an effort of unnatural violence



to uphold it in our bosoms. The thing , even their rocky sides had struggled to is known, but it is not considered ; and emulate the verdant clothing of the plain; the giddy dance of life is carried onwards -its receding rays were gradually withas if there were no destroyers on the drawn, like a transparent veil of light way; the tide of human existence is from the landscape. Over the pure cloudborne as restlessly along as if there were less sky was the glow of the last light. no grave to absorb it. Happy, thrice The great mound threw its dark shadow happy, then, the man who has so learned far across the plain. In the distance, to number his days as to apply his and beyond the Zab, Keshaf, another heart unto wisdom.

venerable ruin, rose indistinctly into the But what, it may be asked by some, evening mist. Still more distant, and has all this to do with the season of the still more indistinct, was a solitary hill, year? We think that we have sufficiently overlooking the ancient city of Arbela. showed that it has much. There are re- The Kurdish mountains, whose snowy flections arising out of that comparatively summits cherished the dying sunbeams, dark and loveless season-winter, when yet struggled with the twilight. The coldness and sterility pervade the surface bleating of sheep and lowing of cattle, at of the earth, which so lately was covered first faint, became louder as the flocks with beauty and abundance, and whose returned from their pastures, and wan. treasures refreshed and enriched us on dered amongst the tents. Girls hurried every hand, that are calculated to wean us over the greensward to seek their father's from earth, and to inspire us with aspira- cattle, or crouched down to milk those tions after a fairer and happier clime. which had returned alone to their wellNot that we would depreciate winter- remembered folds. Some were coming far from it; had we time we might dwell from the river, bearing the replenished long upon the value of this interesting pitcher on their heads or shoulders;

It has its joys and its privileges; others, no less graceful in their form, among the latter, not the least, we think, and erect in their carriage, were carryis the leisure it affords for serious thought, ing the heavy load of long grass which and preparation for a future and better they had cut in the meadows. Sometimes state of existence. Our remarks being a party of horsemen might have been seen necessarily restricted within a given in the distance, slowly crossing the plain, space, we have preferred confining them the tufts of ostrich feathers which topped to those practical lessons which especially their long spears showing darkly against concern the immortal soul, rather than to the evening sky. They would ride up a description of the labours or the sports to my tent, and give me the usual saluthat relate to the wants or the pleasures tation, “ Peace be with you, O Bey !" or, of time.

“ Allah Allwak, God help you !" Then Should these reflections be productive driving the end of their lances into the of a serious concern in the breast of one ground, they would spring from their of our readers, to secure to himself the mares, and fasten their halters to the still blessedness of coming to the grave like a quivering weapons. Seating themselves shock of corn fully ripe in his season,

on the grass, they related deeds of war and of being gathered into the garner of and plunder, or speculated on the site the Lord, our aim will have been fully of the tents of Sefuk, until the moon answered, while he who is the great Lord arose, when they vaulted into their sadof the harvest of souls shall have the dles, and took the way of the desert. praise and the glory.

S. S. S. The plain now glittered with innu

merable fires. As the night advanced,
they vanished one by one, until the land-

scape was wrapped in darkness and in
In the evening, after the labour of the silence,---only disturbed by the barking
day (says Mr. Layard), I often sat at the of the Arab dog.
door of my tent, and giving myself up to
the full enjoyment of that calm and
repose which are imparted to the senses
by such scenes as these, gazed listlessly The Griquas are indolent, apathetic,
on the varied groups before me. As the and content with little. With a horse
sun went down behind the low hills and gun, a Griqua is rich-very rich if,
which separate the river from the desert, in addition to these, he owns a wagon

[ocr errors][ocr errors]




and a plough. Notwithstanding, this proportion is common to all ranks, and natural indolence, they have (thanks to would, if withdrawn, be missed as paintheir religious instruction) made consider- fully by the labourer as by the peer. able progress in civilisation and improve- The market-place which the rustic can ment. Thirty years ago, Mr. Anderson, now reach with his cart in an hour was, to whom they are indebted for their a hundred and sixty years ago, a day's advancement, found them poor, barba- journey from him. The street which rian, and pagan, wandering about on the now affords to the artisan, during the banks of the Gariep with a few flocks, whole night, a secure, a convenient, and knowing nothing of Europeans but their a brilliantly-lighted walk, was, a hundred name and their vices. The kind mission and sixty years ago, so dark after sunset ary offered bimself to become their in- that he would not have been able to see structor, followed them with his family his hand, so ill-paved that he would have through all the vicissitudes of their noma- run constant risk of breaking his neck, dic life, and, under the Divine blessing, and so ill-watched that he would have became the instrument of their conver- been in imminent danger of being sion and civilisation. After five years knocked down, and plundered of his of fatigue and toil, he succeeded in get- small earnings. Every bricklayer who ting them to settle. The greater part falls from a scaffold, every sweeper of a renounced their superstitions and their crossing who is run over by a carriage, wandering mode of life.

They may now have his wounds dressed and have given up their miserable huts for his limbs set with a skill such as, a hunhouses more healthy and more dred and sixty years ago, all the wealth modious, and their sheepskin cloaks for of a great lord like Ormond, or of a merEuropean clothing. They are regular in chant prince like Clayton, could not have their attendance at religious worship, and purchased. Some frightful diseases have they begin to enjoy the blessings of a been extirpated by science, and some have partial civilisation effected by Chris- been banished by police.-Macaulay. tianity. Taste and skill in vocal music is one, and not the least interesting, trait in their character, Their voice is not deep-toned, but is pretty flexible, and is “My own experience, and every sucraised without difficulty to the highest ceeding year of my protracted life, have notes. That of the women is particularly

more and still more convinced me that sweet and harmonious. In the evening,

the end of the commandment is charity;' after the cattle have been brought back

that by this chiefly we are known to be from the fields, they collect in groups

the disciples of Christ, and that the deficibefore their houses, and by the light of ency of brotherly kindness and true Christhe stars, sing some of the sweetest of tian love, more perhaps than all other England's sacred airs. Those of New things that are wanting,' hinders the Sabbath, Gloucester, Milburn, Auburn, spread of the gospel, and the good fruits Miles-lane, Calcutta, Smyrna, and “God of Christianity. Little need we wonder save the Queen,” are familiar to them. that the apostle, who continually, and Happily ignorant of all profane song,

the more as he advanced in age, exhorted they know nothing of music but its moral Christians to love one another,' was and religious influence. They sing only

the disciple whom Jesus loved."" the praises of God-such as have been Bishop Gresweld. left to them in simple and beautiful Dutch verse, by the pious Dr. Vander

INCALCULABLE INJURY. Kemp, or composed by their missionaries. -From An Explanatory Tour to the taints the morals of another, may com,

The person who corrupts the faith, or North-East of the Cape of Good Hope." mit such an injury as the whole world By the Rev. 1. Arbousset and F. Daumas, of the French Missionary Society.

could not compensate ; and if he draw his brother into sin, it is hardly to be conceived, much less to be expressed,

how wide this sin may extend, and what Of the blessings which civilisation numbers it may be the cause of corruptand philosophy bring with them, a large ing and ruining hereafter.— Tucker.



[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »